Olympians Jess Fox and Alyce Wood have a thing or two in common. Both Griffith students are Tokyo-bound, each destined to represent Australia in July at events on the water.
Born in France, Jess follows in the footsteps of Olympian parents and is coached by her mother. Sunshine Coast native, Alyce is coached by her mother-in-law and four-time Olympian, Anna Wood.
Both completed undergraduate degrees online – such is the life of the high-performance athlete – and now each can attest to being students of the Griffith MBA.
On this occasion, Jess is following in the academic footsteps of her Australian teammate, who recommended the Griffith MBA to her.
Alyce was drawn to the MBA as the Rio Olympics loomed into view for her in 2016.
“I knew I wanted to keep paddling after that, and I knew I wanted to do some more learning and further myself in that way,” the 28-year-old said.
The Griffith MBA met with this mindset perfectly and aligned with her lifestyle. In Griffith Sports College, she found an ideal support system to build confidence as she took her place alongside CEOs and company directors. In public policy she found a subject with which she identified.
“It’s really opened my eyes to the sporting world. Business and high-performance sport go hand in hand,” Alyce said.
“You have to perform at such a high level, and you have to think outside the box and challenge yourself.
“I’d love to move into something like sports governance or policymaking once I finish being an athlete.”
The transition to life after elite sport was also on Jess’s radar when thoughts of studying the Griffith MBA started for her, and it has delivered in multiple ways.
She is excited about new ideas and new ventures she can now foresee not only through coursework but in chats with tutors and exchanges with students from other walks of life.
“It’s different in that it takes a values-based approach. That’s what sets it apart from other traditional MBAs,” the 25-year-old said.
“Griffith is an athlete-friendly university that understands the needs of athletes and the flexibility that athletes request. That was a big factor in my decision to apply.
“I’m also really excited to be part of Griffith’s MBA Scholarship for Women and how it encourages the fight for gender equality.
“Griffith is really leading the way there, which is awesome. We’ve done a lot of work in that space in sports.”
Her efforts on this front are reflected in the upcoming and unprecedented opportunity to compete on two fronts at her third Olympics, when she will try to add to the silver and bronze medals she won at London and Rio.
Along with the K1 (kayak), she will also race in the C1 (canoe) event which debuts for female athletes at the Tokyo Games.
Alyce will again compete in the K1 500 sprint in Tokyo after her successful 2020 qualification was upheld for the rescheduled Games.